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chrismillard

Unfair default? - No one takes responsibility

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In March 2009, I received a letter for Lowell's telling me that I owed £114 for a Three mobile account - the debt dated back to 2005 (Lowell bought the debt). I queried this with Lowell, and they basically told me that if I didn't pay it that legal proceedings would commence.

 

I paid the amount in full within a couple of days as I didn't want any financial / credit problems.

 

I now have a default (satisfied) showing on my credit file.

 

To date, neither Three or Lowell have been able to provide me with evidence that I owe any money. I have requested copies of the last 6 months of bills from Three so that I could reconcile them against my bank statements, but all I got was a letter stating a final bill of £114 - no invoices / bills etc...

 

Lowell also haven't been able to provide proof.

 

I have asked Lowell to remove the default, and they told me that they cannot do that as the default would have been authorised by Three (even though Lowell's name is what shows on the file) and that I should phone Three. I phoned Three and spoke to their collections department located somewere in a remote call center outside of the UK. They told me that they could not remove the default as Lowell own the account...

 

So I now have a (satisfied) default on my account, for an "alleged" debt that was just over 4 years old at the time of getting the demand for payment.

 

Admittedly, I moved house in January 2006, but even so, Three never wrote to me in the last 7 or 8 months that I lived at the billing address to tell me that I owed them any money. On top of that, I had mail forwarding for 2 years after moving, and even then - no letters from Three telling me that I owed anything.

 

So where do I go from here? Is it justified to have this default on my account if no one can provide evidence of what they claim I owe? I paid with a view to "pay now, query after" so that I wouldn't get into trouble.

 

This is the only adverse thing on my file, and although I have put in a notice of correction, I don't believe that it should be there in the first place.

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Hi,

Last year, 3 managed to cock things up royally by flogging non debts to the Leeds Losers who chased you.

 

I would write to 3,asking, NO, demanding proof of this debt and if they can't, demand removal of the default ( they would have placed it there in the first place) or get them to tell Lowlifes to do it.

If it comes back that there wasn't a debt, write to Lowells demanding recompense.

Threaten them with the Information Commissioner and/or legal action (but only if you intend to follow through)


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From my experience agents in call centre overseas rarely have the experience, knowledgement or ability to properly cases such as this. So I'd stop calling them as you're only like to make yourself more frustrated with this.

 

As silverfox suggests write to them demanding that they send the copy bills which equate the alleged debt you paid last year. You find the appropriate address details in post 7 of this thread in the Telecoms section http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?248373-Mobile-Phone-providers-Landline-providers-Contact-details.&p=2782207&viewfull=1#post2782207

 

On the basis that you had no correspondence from 3 I'd be also tempted to send them a SAR in order to get all the records they hold about you. This should show what steps they initially took to request payment before referring to the DCA.

 

For the sake of a tenner it's well worth doing as it may uncover information that'll help you out here.

 

On the default side of things the DCA are correct in saying the only 3 can authorise this as although your credit file shows that it has been registered by the DCA it would've been originally registered by 3.

 

Keep at them until they've removed it or provided the necessary information you've asked for.

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On the default side of things the DCA are correct in saying the only 3 can authorise this as although your credit file shows that it has been registered by the DCA it would've been originally registered by 3.

 

I disagree with this. The DCA are data sharing with the CRA and therefore they must have proof that the default is accurate in order to comply with the DPA. It is not sufficient for the DCA to say "its accurate because 3 said so". If they have their name against something, then they have the power to change it. From experience, Lowell have a habit of entering their own default record for accounts they have purchased, duplicating the original creditor's. I do not have any experience of 3, but given what I know about Lowell I would guess they registered the default, not 3, otherwise you'd have two defaults on your file.

 

Chris, you need to stop phoning people and get everything on paper. Write to 3 asking for them to remove the default as Lowell have directed you to them. Write to Lowell asking them to remove the default as 3 have directed you to them. Hopefully you'll get a written reply from 3 stating Lowell are responsible, and a written reply from Lowell saying 3 are responsible. If you do, go the the CRA with both letters saying that the buck is being passed and that as nobody is willing to take responsibility for the default, you demand it is removed. I'd also complain to the ICO. If the CRA refuse to remove said default, include them in the complaint.

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It's right to say that it's not enough for the DCA to say that the default is accurate purely on the basis the 3 say it is but in order to get it removed 3 will need to investigate their records and conclude that they made an error.

As such the OP will need to contact 3 or the CRA, who in turn will contact the relevant dept within 3.

Should things not go your way send the SAR in so you can see what information they've based their decision on.

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OK, I am going to apply for an SAR. I have spoken to the ICO and they cannot help me because I cannot prove that the default is incorrect. I've kept all of my old bank statements, but because I haven't kept the old mobile phone bills and because neither 3 nor Lowell can provide them, I cannot prove my point.

 

So where now? I think that this is HIGHLY unfair that I can have a default based on what is essentially non-existent information!

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OK, I am going to apply for an SAR. I have spoken to the ICO and they cannot help me because I cannot prove that the default is incorrect. I've kept all of my old bank statements, but because I haven't kept the old mobile phone bills and because neither 3 nor Lowell can provide them, I cannot prove my point.

 

So where now? I think that this is HIGHLY unfair that I can have a default based on what is essentially non-existent information!

 

Wait to see what the SAR from 3 mobile brings back, if you ask for all information regarding yourself and provide an account number/telephone number if you have it then you should get the bills you need to see back from them plus any correspondence they claim to have sent you in the period you moved house.

 

S.


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I suppose if the 'bills' which comprise the amount you were defaulted for fail to materialise then you could argue how 3 can't prove you defaulted on them if they're unable to provide copies.

I know it's a pain but it's going to be a game of patience I'm afraid. Demanding it's removal with no provable reasoning will get you nowhere but it you takes things steady and properley review what they send you you may be able to provide a logical and reasonable argument for it to be removed.

 

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